Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 412-418

Feasibility of intraoperative quantitative neuromuscular blockade monitoring in children using electromyography

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA
2 Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine – Dublin Campus, Dublin, Ohio, USA
3 Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine – Athens Campus, Athens, Ohio, USA
4 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital; Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Joseph D Tobias
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus OH - 42305
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.sja_326_22

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Background: Quantitative train-of-four (TOF) monitoring remains essential in optimizing anesthetic outcomes by assessing the depth and recovery from neuromuscular blockade. Despite this, residual neuromuscular blockade, defined as a TOF ratio <0.90, remains a concern in both adult and pediatric patients. Quantitative TOF monitoring has seen limited use in infants and children primarily due to a lack of effective equipment. This study evaluates a new electromyography (EMG)-based TOF monitor in pediatric patients undergoing inpatient surgical procedures including laparoscopic (restricted arm access) surgery. Methods: Pediatric patients undergoing inpatient surgery requiring the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) were enrolled. The EMG electrodes were placed along the ulnar nerve on the volar aspect of the arm to provide neurostimulation. The muscle action potentials from the abductor digiti minimi muscle were recorded. Neuromuscular responses were recorded by the device throughout surgery at 20-s intervals until after tracheal extubation. Data recorded on the monitor's built-in memory card were later retrieved and analyzed. Results: The study cohort included 100 pediatric patients (62% male). The average age was 11 years (IQR: 8, 13) and the average weight was 39.6 kg (30, 48.7). Automatic detection of supramaximal stimulus was obtained in 95% of patients. The muscle action potential mean baseline amplitude (in mV) was 7.5 mV (6, 9.2). The baseline TOF ratio was 100% (100, 104). After administration of a neuromuscular blocking agent, monitoring of the TOF ratio was successful in 93% of the patients. After antagonism of neuromuscular blockade, monitoring was possible in 94% of patients when using an upgraded algorithm. The baseline amplitude recovered to 6.5 mV (5, 7.8), and the TOF ratio recovered to a mean of 90.1% (90,97) before tracheal extubation. Conclusion: Our results indicate that neuromuscular monitoring can be performed intraoperatively in pediatric patients weighing between 20 and 60 kg using the new commercially available EMG-based monitor. Automatic detection of neuromuscular stimulating parameters (supramaximal current intensity level and baseline amplitude of the muscle action potential) by an adult neuromuscular monitor is feasible in pediatric patients receiving nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents.

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